Industry And Cluster | News & Insights

Khadi India compels removal of 160 web links from Amazon, Flipkart for misuse of brand name

Published: September 20, 2020
Author: SaachiBhatia

Fighting hard to ‘protect’ its brand name from rampant misrepresentation, government owned ‘Khadi India’ has shot off legal notices to over a thousand firms and has now got hundreds of web links selling ‘khadi’ products across e-commerce platforms pulled off.

Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal among others have taken down over 160 such web links recently after government run Khadi and Village Industries Commission’s (KVIC) stepped up pressure on the online selling platforms.

The KVIC had recently served legal notices to over a 1000 firms using the brand name “Khadi India” to sell their products. KVIC had alleged that this was causing damage to its reputation and loss of work for thousands of Khadi artisans.

Last month, KVIC had issued legal notices to two firms – Khadi Essentials and Khadi Global – for unauthorizedly selling cosmetics and other products in the name of Khadi.

KVIC has also sought damages to the tune of Rs 500 crore from Fabindia which is pending before the Mumbai High Court.

KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said the KVIC has given violators the option to either stop selling products in the name of Khadi or face legal action for recovery of heavy damages.

“Legal notices have been issued to various firms essentially to safeguard the interest of Khadi artisans. This trademark violation has a direct bearing on the livelihood of our artisans who are making genuine handcrafted products,” Saxena said.

A range of products from masks, herbals soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, herbal mehandi, jackets, kurta and more are being sold on e-commerce platforms using the brand name “Khadi”.

A majority of the products that have been removed were being sold by one Ayush E-Traders. This firm has confirmed to KVIC that it has removed 140 links for various products that were being sold as “Vagad’s Khadi Products”

KVIC officials said that while the popularity of Khadi grew manifold in recent years after the Prime Minister’s repeated appeals to buy Khadi products, there has also been a steep rise in exploitation of the ‘Kahdi’ brand name especially among sellers who were marketing random products under the national brand.

“In recent months, particularly during the Covid-19 lockdown, there was a huge proliferation of such fraudulent online sellers. Also hundreds of stores mushroomed in different cities that were selling fake Khadi products. This created a false impression among online buyers that these commodities were genuine “Khadi” products”, KVIC officials said.

After KVIC’s legal notice, Khadi Global has also discontinued using its website and also removed its social media pages on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and have sought 10-day time to remove all such contents and product using the brand name “Khadi”.

A number of stores across the country that were selling fake Khadi products have also shut shop, as per KVIC which is now backed with a dedicated legal team for continuous monitoring and takedown of unauthorised products being sold in the name of Khadi.

To check this counterfeit, the KVIC has also scaled up its own digital presence – starting with face masks amid the lockdown and now selling over 300 products through its own website.

Registered Khadi Institutions engaged in manufacturing Khadi products have also been informed that their registration with KVIC did not authorize them to re-authorize any one to use “Khadi” trademarks or “Khadi India” logo unless that firm or company obtains proper licence from KVIC for the same.
SOURCE: Economic Times

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